• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Devolution Likely To Invigorate Celtic Nationalisms and Lead To the Break-Up of Britain?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

IS DEVOLUTION LIKELY TO INVIGORATE CELTIC NATIONALISMS AND LEAD TO THE BREAK-UP OF BRITAIN? A government document confidently assured in July 1997: "the Union will be strengthened by recognising the claims of Scotland, Wales and the regions with strong identities of their own. The governments' devolution proposals... will not only safeguard but also endorse the Union". However could such an assertion reside as a gross political and constitutional miscalculation: does devolution represent the first step towards a British quasi-federalist state and an eventual break up of the Union; or conversely will it serve to smother Celtic nationalisms by accommodating the UK's divergent political demands in different parts of the country? Devolution is the devolving of political decision-making power from the centre to sub-national units. At least in theory, there is no loss of sovereignty at the centre in political devolution; for powers that are devolved can be repealed by an Act of Parliament. Therefore devolution does not stand synonymous with independence. ...read more.

Middle

With Westminster all but ceasing to legislate for Scotland, this will be accompanied by a removal of ministerial responsibility in Whitehall for Scottish affairs. Therefore, with Westminster no longer debating Scottish issues, it is only in constitutional theory alone that full legislative power remains with Westminster; thus characterising the new relationship between the two states as quasi-federal and only unitary during times of crisis. Westminster will reside as power only able to supervise another legislative body making laws on a wide range of issues. In addition, it will not be easy for Westminster to abolish the Scottish parliament without a national referendum or for it to unilaterally alter the devolution settlement to Scotland's disadvantage, as it would logistically have to seek the consent of the Scottish Parliament. Therefore Westminster will no longer retain the fundamental characteristic of a sovereign parliament: the right to make any law it wishes. Although culturally distinct, Wales has never been a separate integrated political unit - an incorporated part of the Union for far longer than Scotland and Northern Ireland. ...read more.

Conclusion

Celtic nationalism is largely based on political rather than economic grievances. While many nationalists complain that Scotland and Wales do not appropriate a large enough share of Westminster's coffers; it is common knowledge that, especially in the case of Scotland, funding per capita is much greater than the English national average. The Scots and to a lesser extent, the Welsh have been campaigning for political devolution ever since the matter resurfaced in the 1960s in order to partially eliminate the democratic deficit of quango control and the prospect of Scots being governed by a party they do support in the majority. Self-government therefore in the eyes of many, can only serve to diminish the basis for expressing such grievances in terms of protest votes for nationalists The likely impact of devolution is hard to assess. The potential benefits of change can certainly be overstated. The possible downside of constitutional change can also be exaggerated. The apocalyptic view, which sees an irrevocable fragmentation of the UK, ignores the fact that Britain has changed its territorial arrangements at many times in its history without disintegrating. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the devolution process in Scotland and Wales?

    Also there has been an increase in democracy concerning the voting systems put in place in both local and national levels; the new system has enabled more proportional representation by smaller parties. However the devolution process has had some negative effects.

  2. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    Based on the proportion of women in the lower house in the mid-nineties the results confirm that women are better represented in proportional systems. Women were 7.3 percent of MPs in majoritarian systems, 13.2 percent in mixed or semi-proportional systems, and 17.2 percent of members in PR systems.

  1. In this essay I will explain the distinctive features of the Scottish political system, ...

    It is this heritage, shared with others deprived peripheries such as Northern England and South Wales, which pushed them into fervent support for trade unions and the Labour Party. An additional factor fostering such support in Scotland is religion. The core of Labour Party support is the Roman Catholic vote.

  2. Scottish devolution.

    post - the way in which British people vote for their MPs - would lead to a huge Labour majority in the parliament even if their true level of support were less than 50% of voters. Another fear was that the Conservatives, despite their support of around one in five

  1. Devolution is not a "constitutional settlement" but a dynamic (and potentially destabilising) process. ...

    The introduction of an elected mayor has given London a 'presidential arrangement'. Livingstone is monitored by a small council but ultimately, he is "the most powerful directly elected politician in Britain, the choice of 7 million voters"11 This again would see a shift towards a more devolved, unitary tier system of local council.

  2. Spain and Devolution

    and ideolgically to those strands of political opinion which believe in the essential unity of Spain, is considerable. In Catalonia the central state has effectively lost the cultural initiative and the re-establishment of Catalan as the first language has deepened the extent to which it is a 'place apart'.

  1. Where Does Power Reside In Britain?

    The poorer people (working class) have no power, and as long as they have no money they will have no power. However it is said that if the working class realise that they are being exploited by the middle class, then there could be a revolution, where the proletariats have power over the bourgeoisie.

  2. The debate over immigration and French identity is one of the most controversial questions ...

    Renewing arguements for European immigration were provided by demographic considerations/concerns. The first signs of demographic transition appeared at the end of the ninetienth century, throuhout the interwar period, with exeption of a short baby-boom from 1920 to 1923, France's birth rate resumed to fall, facing depopulation in the late thirties.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work